Two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed before the Karnataka High Court today, July 27, 2020, Monday, challenging the state's decision to hold the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first petition was filed by the National Students Union of India (NSUI). It states that though the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) had issued a notification on March 30, 2020 to postpone the KCET exam indefinitely owing to the nationwide lockdown, on May 13, 2020, it had issued a revised notification for holding KCET on July 30 and July 31.
The plea mentions that on May 30, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued guidelines for phased reopening which specially stated that all schools/colleges and educational institutions shall remain closed till mid-July. Later it was clarified by MHA that all schools and colleges shall remain closed till July 31, the plea says. "However, not paying any heed to the MHA guidelines, on July 18, KEA issued a copy of instructions to COVID-19 positive patients willing to appear for KCET exam on June 29."
The petition urged the High Court to set aside the KEA notification dated May 13, 2020 to conduct KCET exams on July 30 and July 31.
The petition urged the High Court to direct the state government and KEA to go ahead with KCET only after the completion of JEE and NEET exams.
The petitio also urged the High Court to direct the state government to consult various stakeholders such as parents and students before taking a decision regarding the schedule for the conduct of KCET.
The second petition was filed by two practising advocates - Pradeep Kumar SP and S Hanumanthegowda. Apart from the mentioned submissions in the first PIL, the secomd PIL also urges to quash the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued in respect of conducting exams for COVID-19 positive students.
Further, it urged the High Court that CET 2020 be cancelled, and that the marks obtained by students at the 12th standard level be considered for preparing the ranking list in order to grant admission to professional courses.
Both the petitions are expected to be heard by the High Court tomorrow, Tuesday, July 28, 2020.